Politics Congress approved a bill to help computer chip companies...

Congress approved a bill to help computer chip companies as a counter to China

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The House approved a $280 billion package Thursday To boost the semiconductor industry And scientific research in an effort to create more high-tech jobs in the United States and help it better compete with international rivals China.

The House passed the bill 243-187, sending the measure to President Joe Biden. to be signed into law and deliver a major domestic policy victory for the White House. About two dozen Republicans voted for the legislation.

“My appeal is to put politics aside. Get it done,” Biden said before the vote, which he said would give the U.S. “the ability to not only compete with China for the future, but to lead the world and win the economic race of the 21st century.”

Republicans argue that the government should not spend billions to subsidize the semiconductor industry And GOP leadership in the House recommended voting against the bill, telling members the plan would provide enormous subsidies and tax credits to “certain industry that doesn’t need additional government handouts.”

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Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa., said the way to help the industry is through tax cuts and easing federal regulations, not by “picking winners and losers” with subsidies — which Rep. Joseph Morelle, DN.Y. , said to be too narrow.

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  • “It affects every industry in the United States,” Morrell said. “Take, for example, General Motors announcing that they have 95,000 automobiles waiting for chips. So, you want to increase the supply of goods to the people and help reduce inflation?
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    It’s about increasing the supply of goods across the United States in every single industry.

    Some Republicans see passing the legislation as important for national security. Rep. Mike McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said it was critical to protect semiconductor capacity in the US, which relies heavily on Taiwan for its most advanced chips. It could prove a major vulnerability if China tried to annex the self-governing island, which Beijing views as a breakaway province.

    “I have a unique insight into this. I get a classified briefing. Not all of these members do,” McCall said. “This is vital to our national security.”

    The bill would provide more than $52 billion in grants and other incentives to the semiconductor industry, as well as a 25% tax credit for companies investing in chip plants in the US, while seeking to boost spending on various research programs by a total of $200 billion. More than 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
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    A late development in the Senate — the progress Democrats announced Wednesday night on a $739 billion health and climate change package — will make it harder for supporters to push the semiconductor bill over the finish line based on concerns about government spending.

    Rep. Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., said he was “disgusted” by the events on Capitol Hill.

    Despite bipartisan support for the research programs, he added, “Sadly, and it’s sadder than you might imagine, I will not be casting my vote today for the CHIPS and SCIENCE Act.”

    ___

    Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report.

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